Democratising Travel

The  price of air travel has fallen sharply since the 1950s, and the number of available seats has doubled in just 15 years between 2004 and 2019 as no-frills airlines like EasyJet, Ryanair, etc. entered the market with their bare-bones service and attainable price brackets.

However, the impact of budget airlines reverberated far beyond ticket prices. Their fast-paced expansion and route development connected previously underserved airports with population centres around the world, stimulating tourism and economic growth in new destinations.

In essence, the rise of budget airlines democratised air travel, transforming it from a luxury for the few into an accessible commodity.

This seismic shift in the aviation landscape has profoundly shaped how we fly today and has allowed us to travel further and more often than ever.



  1. When they started operating there were lots of comments about the budget airlines having rather imaginate view of their destinations e.g. Paris Vatry Airport 131 miles away from Paris.

    There again the local airport hurn was once Hurn – London. A 1940s newspaper article about how many famous people who had flown from it commented that it remained to be seen what effect the new airport being built at Heath-Row would have.

    p.s. For a laugh have a look at the plans for the Brabazon airliner of that time. Upstairs – Downstairs in the sky.

  2. > Can’t you stick a Starlink on the roof ?
    Yes, you can – I’ve a friend based in a remote location in Scotland who has done exactly that. For mobile use as opposed to a fixed antenna, there’s an extra license payment, but, yes it’s entirely do-able and he’s dead chuffed with it.

  3. Yes but it’s made travelling utter shite. No more well spoken stewardesses handing you a glass of champagne as you sit down on a plane to Frankfurt. You have to travel half way around the world to get any decent level of seating now.

    • I can drive 700 miles per day and three days will get me where I need to go. I’d rather that than fly. Someday self driving camper homes will be the way to travel. When can we expect mobile satellite internet connections to such a rig?

      • I actually agree with you. When even a camper van is better than business class travel it shows how much standards have dropped.

        Though 700 miles at US speed limits sounds horrendous. I always hoped for self-driving cars to get me across Germany so I go to sleep in Brussels and wake up in Berlin, but they never came.

        Can’t you stick a Starlink on the roof ? Almost every farm around here has one, which is great because I now get all the available 4G bandwidth for a tenth of the price 🙂

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